Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Day 282- Chatuchak Weekend Market

Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok by Pinyada Ratanasungk from Bangkok, Thailand
Grand prize winner of the Marvellous Map Contest organised by theydraw&travel.com.

I was  in Bangkok for 4 days between the 8th-11th of this month with my sisters and dad. I almost always planned my trip there over a weekend so that I could visit Chatuchak, the flea market touted to be the largest in the world. 

With an estimated 15000 stalls squashed side by side on a 35 acre land, this weekend market receives about 200,000-300,000 visitors a day. It is like a city unto itself and it even has its own map! 

Chatuchak or Jatujak or JJ Market as it is now more commonly known seems to unite everything buyable under the sun and it is of course  impossible to see the whole market in 1 day. In fact, I have yet to visit every sector even though there was once when I was there three days in a row!

Some of you may have noticed that I often mentioned JJ market or Chatuchak in this blog, far too many times maybe. It is after all, my numero uno favourite flea market. Let me be your guide and show you why.

Opening Hours: Sunrise

Closing Hours :Sunset

Days: Weekends Only starting from Fridays for some shops.

Be prepared for a long walk in hot weather. 
So wear your most comfortable pair of shorts and flip flops.
Bring your map but enjoy getting lost anyway
 (which you inevitably will) 


confusing, contrasting and crazily creative. 

Let's start with this narrow lane..

 a makeshift stall of homemade craft?

And just as you are thinking folk art being hawked off in a nook with no vendor?,

the lady boss appears, as if from thin air. 
Don't be fooled by her age, she is sharper than a samurai sword and can 
probably run faster than you. 
When she senses danger (police), she and her plastic bags of art will disappear quicker than you can ask how much?

Let's move now to the fashion sector. 
Say hello to the owner 

cum bag designer 

cum salesgirl.

And in a marketplace of the tens of thousands 
where differentiation is key,

she is also sometimes the model 

in her own billboard
 lauding the wonders of washable hair colours

or the secrets of your future.

But there is no better way to convince your customer than to say
I use my own products too.
Squirt squirt...blood streaming down my eyes
squeeze..an evil laugh.
Halloween specials! You can't get any scarier than this!

Or maybe you can.
240 Baht (S$10) for the big hands , S$5 for the small
1 for a lizard
and a whopping S$15 for the combo of hand and lizard!

Here he is, the HANDsome artist with his HANDmade HANDs.

Alright, alright, enough with the HAND jokes already! Let's move on, shall we? 

The HANDicraft sector?

The first and only sector I would usually visit, I could stay here for hours, maybe days.
 Like when I sat in this shop watching him

make these and
he was explaining to me how he used local clay for them
and I was telling him how a rat had eaten my clay cucumber and chillis 
and all the time, hardly understanding each other.

These are the people of Chatuchak.

It matters not whether they are making art,

making music

or just plain making a living,

whether they are cute

or young

or old,

there is invariably a quality about them I admire

and they are the reasons why I kept coming back.

Shall we return again tomorrow?


rosanna said...

OMG, I have to run, Cinema tonight but I'll be back in a couple of hours. Stay on

Sans! said...

I miss the cinema Rosanna :(.

Kikka said...

OMG..what can I say...Let`s keep going! :)

The Old Maid said...

Yes! Yes! Please, please! Let's come back there and next time take me with you, dear Sans! I am not surprised at all you are coming back there!
Which obviously made me thinking how far we live from each other. For me the trip there would be most probably one of those life time trips and you say you are coming back there like it is sooooo close for you:)
Thank you for sharing this with us!

cockerina said...

I LOVE this place! I come with you tomorrow! :)))

Susanne said...

Thanks for sharing, dear Sans, I would love to be there myself!
Love, Susanne

Eva said...

Another city in my wish list ;) it is wonderful to see Bangkok through your eyes. Un beso

Piikko said...

Oh yes we shall!!!
And we'll have lot of fun.:)

Mona said...

It must be so nice to visit that marked! Yes, we return again tomorrow.

malu2 said...

Ohhhhhhh,Sans, Bankok, es espectaculo
en sus calles, en sus comercíos, en sus mercados,una maravilla, cuanto me gustaría volver, se de lo que hablas,
me gusta muchísimo esta entrada,me encantan los mercadillos de Thailandia, si supieras todo lo que compré!!!!!
Sans, muchos besos desde Barcelona
MªLuisa y Malú.

rosanna said...

Well, this is an amazing place and one worth visiting. Now I feel even worst and if you read my mail you know why.But keep teasing me and, sooner or later, better sooner, I'll find my way to it With you as a guide. Hugs, Rosanna

Ascension said...

Sans lo primero...me ha hecho mucha gracia lo del "mercado de pulgas"....aqui las pulgas son unos bichitos que llevan los perros a cuestas jejeje
Si te apetece volvemos mañana...eres una gran "cicerone".
Preciosas fotografias, me ha encantado este paseo por el "mercado de pulgas".
besitos ascension

Lataina said...

Yes, yes, tomorrow it is! I love flea markets although I haven't been to one in years. When I was younger we used to go every weekend and of course I hated it...lol. Now I have a certain appreciation and love to see what people have. =)

BiWuBär said...

Are you kidding? Of course we want to return (I feel absolutely free to say that in the name of the others *teehee*). And the very best thing about visiting this amazing, stunning, fabulous place with you - it's safe! I can't lose any money... which I would, I would never ever be able to resist these temptations...

Birgit (or should I say "Funny Bones"?)

Rosamargarita said...

Un bellísimo mercado, lleno de arte y sensaciones.
Un beso

Jennifer Rydell@Plushpussycat said...

This is so fun, Sans! You're a natural-born storyteller! And your characters today are of the really fun variety! I can't wait to hear more, and I really, really want to know what you bought, OK?! ;-)

Neomig said...

It's so interesting . A wonderland for people like me. But I'm so far away......

CWPoppets said...

Ohh, I love markets like these. I could go there and just get lost for a week or so ... :-)

Snowfern said...

*waits for the next installment*



(but lovely post, btw, very lyrical and inviting ^ ^ )

miniaturist59 said...

OH. MY. GOD. Is this the flea market to end all flea markets?? I am in lurve!! Pick me up a bloody hand, please!! Susan, I want to live with you!! Take me everywhere you go!!!!

Drora's minimundo said...

Thanks again for the story and photos. A real garden of heaven this flea market. I too, am waiting for the next installment.

Flor said...

Sans ¡Lo has hecho nuevamente...!! Me transportas y me haces sentir que percibo olores , escucho los sonidos del entorno, siento el clima , mis ojos van de un lado a otro apreciando cada foto que nos muestras ¡Definitivamente !!! Eres una artista en toda la extensión de la palabra Ö
Gracias por sacarme por un momento de mi lugar favorito (mi taller) hasta allá!!!
Un abrazo

dale's dreams said...

Yes, yes, yes!

I love places like this, I could be there for days and be happy! :)

There is just something about the hunt and I love to hunt. :)

Lorenzo had one of those blood scream masks for halloween one year!

Okay, corny joke time, speaking of hands... ;)

Hello Mr Hand, how is Mrs Hand and how are all the little fingers? ;)

*ducks and runs*

Amy said...

Yes! I want to go back tomorrow! Please, Sans!

I visited Thailand a long time ago, in 1987, but we didn't go to the market! I loved Thailand. My memories of the trip are so vivid, I feel like I was just there. I wish I could share my photos, but my photo album is long packed away.

Oh, those hands! They're wonderfully gory! The man is an artist of the severed limb. I don't think I will ever get the chance to see another picture of a man in a Scream mask with dreadlocks and bleeding eyes holding an ice cream cone. Even if I Googled it. And of course I'm in love with the clay flowers.

Beautiful photographs, S. I feel like I'm there with you, the sounds, the colors, all the people, the rush of life. More to come!

Sans! said...

Rosannnnnnnna!!! I have just finished watching Julie & Julia on HBO and omigosh, I don't think I have laughed so hard sitting all by myself in my room before. Then I teared just as easily watching Julia read that letter from her sister, Dorothy telling Julia that she was pregnant. That Meryl Streep, I just love her . She's my all time favourite actress since Sophie's Choice (1982) and I really haven't found someone I like more. What movie were you watching?

Ok, I have just seen your email. Will read and reply soon :).It's day off today and Singapore is celebrating Diwali (Deepavali). So is the Rolla house ;p.

But first, more shopping at JJ.

WeeLittleWest / Kathy Olaf-Obrenski said...

Hi I been here. The first thing that I remember was I didn't like the stuff to eat. I used to fly with AA. I even have pictures. I wonder where they are?. I want to tell you some other things when my husband was here. It's hard for me to write.

Daydreamer said...

Dear Sans! I am LATE! (I caught a BAD cold... and have not been feeling able to do anything... even blog! :(... )
But I must confess I had to race past the gory hands... I COULD NOT look! What an amazing slice of the UNIVERSE is JJ!
Please, I will come too for more.... It is EASY when I know I cannot be tempted to open MY pocketbook!

Sans! said...

By the way Kikka, your ceramic work is fantabulous! I have just gone over to take a peek.

Your bowls and plates are better than the ones I find in Chatuchak (and they are really not bad) because yours are thinner.

As I have said in my comment on your post, you can set up shop in JJ and give them a run for their money :)

Sans! said...

Ewa, I used to envy you Europeans and the Americans for all your miniature markets/ fairs:).

Truthfully, I will be hard put to choose but at the end of the day, I think I will still pick Chatuchak over all the dollhouse shops in the world :).

Ewa, don't ever rule out visiting this part of the world. Bring your camera. It will be the trip of a lifetime. :)

Sans! said...

Caterina, I am sure you will buy buy buy if you are at the market :). I suspect you are one of us, shopaholics?

Sans! said...

Susanne, after Rome, Bangkok?

Sans! said...

You too Eva.

:( ... you seem really far away now even though we have only seen each other this year.

I will be waiting for your long long email ok. But I too am really busy at work and someday over the weekends, all I feel like doing is lie down on my bed and watch mindless TV. :)

Sans! said...

Kathy O_O..you were at Chatuchak? :)
You didn't like the food? I am not surprised.

South East Asian food takes a lot of getting used to because most of us love them spicy. Thai food especially is Chilli hot and sour. My favourite kind of food is Thai and maybe that's why I am not a fan of Western food only because you don't use chilli in your food. I love Mexican food for the same reason :). Everything else, I eat with loads of Tobasco sauce..haha:)

I love that you are practising typing even when it is hard. :):)

Sans! said...

*pretending to roll my eyes at Dale.

Hey dearie, I was thinking of you the whole time I was typing my reply to Kathy O-O :). Like her, you didn't like spice much and I still remember how hard you were trying to adapt to the food here :).

That mask is something! I just love how you can make blood stream down your head. It would have made a great accessory for Halloween party. Buy 2, one for the face and the other for the back of your head :)

Sans! said...

Bets, hehe, you are too funny. I seriously don't think I have met anyone more squeamish than you about the ghostly and gore. :):).

I dare you to read this:

It was a lazy afternoon and about donkey years ago when me and my sisters were little kids. We were sitting on my parent's bed and reading a black and white movie magazine when we came across this picture. It was one of a Chinese lady combing her long hair in front of a mirror . And in the next picture, it was of her turning her head 180 degrees to face us.

We all screamed , threw down the book and ran out of the room! Till today, I still think lady ghosts who sit in front of mirrors combing their hair are the scariest. :)

dale's dreams said...

lol, this came through my email while I was online and I have to say, I object! I object! ;)

I did not find your food to be all that hot, I know some of it can be, but I ate plenty while I was there and it's not all hot.

Some peeps (Sans!) like hot food and like their hot sauce. :)

There is a radio commercial here that always makes me think of you, it's an ol' lady for a hot sauce and she pronounces, I put that sh.. on everything. I imagine that is you, coming here and eating my "bland" food. ;)

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